..."It's refreshing to see that various clergy are coming to the defence of the ordination of women including Rev. John Shea, an Augustinian, who taught theology in the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College.
In a recently letter written at the start of Lent, the second of two letters he has written to fellow clergy including Cardinal O”Malley of Boston, Shea insists that there has never been a “clear and credible theological explanation for the exclusion of women from the Catholic priesthood.” In fact, he sees the church's teaching that women are not like Jesus as heretical.
Before putting pen to paper, Shea stopped his active ministry as a priest. After writing his first letter, his career as a professor was terminated and he was the recipient of two “canonical warnings” that he would be punished with a “just” penalty for speaking out on this topic.
Meanwhile, a Franciscan Friar, Fr. Jerry Zawada of Wisconsin, has been deprived of his priestly faculties for concelebrating Mass with a woman priest, Mother Janice Sevre-Dusznska, in 2011, just as Rev. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest, was excommunicated and eventually dismissed from his Order for having been part of Dusznska's ordination ceremony in 2008 and for speaking out publicly in favor of women's ordination.
Like Bourgeois and brother priest Jesuit Fr. Bill Brennan who had his priestly ministries removed for participating in a liturgy with Rev. Sevre-Dusznska, Fr. Zawada feels very strongly about the ordination of women. He's very aware that his superiors and the hierarchy don't think he is observing his vow of obedience, but feels he must follow his conscience.
Zawada, who has been a peace activist and hopes to continue to share his life with the poor, is also a proponent of a married clergy. Given that married Anglican priests were recruited and welcomed into the Catholic church when they refused to accept the Church of England's decision to ordain women, many Catholics are left shaking their heads.
Meanwhile, as the Vatican has added “attempted” ordination of women to its list of “grave sins”, Shea, in his letter to fellow clergy, reminds them that for centuries permissibility of slavery was seen as part of the “ordinary infallible teaching” of the church, but is now considered as an “inherent evil” by that same church.
As well, racism and religious intolerance were also part of “the ordinary infallible teaching” of the church, but over a long period of time and immeasurable..."